Mr. Masao Sono

Receiving first long-coveted Gold medal after 50 years since he has started Athletics.

Impressions after participated in the Auckland Games

“I am willing to challenge for the world’s best once again, since I was not able to realize my goal with challenges to the World Masters Athletics for three times.” So Mr. Masao Sono decided to participate in the World Masters Games for the first time. He had competed in Athletics – 1500m, 2000m Steeplechase, 5000m, 10km Road Race, 6km Cross Country and Throws Pentathlon. On the second day of the Games, he became the first Japanese athlete to receive Gold medal in 10km Road Race within age category of 60-65.

Mr. Sono started Athletics 50 years ago, he had played an active role as athlete of JSDF Physical Training School and Yachiyo Industry Track & Field Team. His best result for World Masters Athletics Championships is silver medal. “The result was regretful” said Mr. Sono, so he trained much harder until his body fat percentage went down to 3 %. Finally, he won the long-coveted Gold medal at the first time participation of the WMG. Moreover, he had received total of four medals including all Gold, Silver and Bronze colored medals by participating at 5 disciplines such as 6km Cross Country.

In addition, the WMG is the place to seek for interaction between participants for Mr. Sono. He asked people he met at the Auckland to sign, write messages and contact information on the Japanese national flag which he brought from Japan. As a result, he gained friendship with over 1,000 people during the Games period. His Japanese national flag is now fully covered by many messages.

Mr. Sono said, “I was aiming to receive a Gold medal for a long period of time. There was a time I thought I am not able to receive the Gold medal. However, I met WMG, and be able to receive a Gold medal at the Games which gave me a dream and hope. I am greatly appreciated to the Games. And I am also willing to participate in the Games even after the age of 100, and to disseminate the attraction of WMG to people around me.”

The enthusiasm for World Masters Games 2021 KANSAI

Mr. Sono participated in the Auckland Games because he learned about WMG2021 Kansai Games. He is hoping to make the most of his experience in Auckland Games to Kansai Games in 2021.

“World Masters Games is the Games which anyone who is approximately over 30 years old can participate. By participating to the Games, I am certain that people can feel their – dream, hope, and passion - as I experienced. I am eager to disseminate the attraction of the Games, and willing to gather as many people as possible to participate the Games.” Mr. Sono hopes so.

“Games will be held in large area of Kansai region in four years, in 2021. I think the Games is not fully recognized by public in many ways. From now on, I am willing to conduct PR activities for WMG at many scenes and opportunities.” That is how his talked about enthusiasm for the Kansai Games.